Two courier bags. One black, one red.
I’ve owned one of them for around 7 hours. I’ve owned the other for for about 12 years.
One is brand new. The other is rapidly falling apart.
One of them has just been bought from the howies shop in Carnaby Street. The other came from a bike shop in Liverpool.
One of them sports crisp new buckles that click loudly. The other has long since lost the working parts of all its buckles and has twice been repaired by a shoemender in Brighton.
One smells of new shoes and outdoor shops. The other smells of biscuit crumbs and sweaty cycling kit.
One has a fleecy pocket for an MP3 player. The other was made before the iPod had been invented.
One has a handy sleeve for my laptop. The other was made at a time when I would carry a small box of floppy disks.
When I pick up one of these bags it feels unfamiliar and a little awkward – like it belongs to someone else. The other one moulds itself perfectly to the shape of my hip and lower back, like it’s part of my body. It has been with me virtually every day for over a decade, going to work, going travelling, going on bike rides and sharing adventures.
Let’s see what the next 12 years has in store.